7 March 2014 High-power monolithic fiber amplifiers based on advanced photonic crystal fiber designs
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Abstract
We report on the development and performance of a fully monolithic PCF amplifier that has achieved over 400 W with near diffraction limited beam quality with an approximately 1GHz phase modulated input. The key components for these amplifiers are an advanced PCF fiber design that combines segmented acoustically tailored (SAT) fiber that is gain tailored, a novel multi fiber-coupled laser diode stack and a monolithic 6+1x1 large fiber pump/signal multiplexer. The precisely aligned 2-D laser diode emitter array found in laser diode stacks is utilized by way of a simple in-line imaging process with no mirror reflections to process a 2-D array of 380-450 elements into 3 400/440μm 0.22NA pump delivery fibers. The fiber combiner is an etched air taper design that transforms low numerical aperture (NA), large diameter pump radiation into a high NA, small diameter format for pump injection into an air-clad large mode area PCF, while maintaining a constant core size through the taper for efficient signal coupling and throughput. The fiber combiner has 6 400/440/0.22 core/clad/NA pump delivery fibers and a 25/440 PM step-index signal delivery fiber on the input side and a 40/525 PM undoped PCF on the output side. The etched air taper transforms the six 400/440 μm 0.22 NA pump fibers to the 525 μm 0.55 NA core of the PCF fiber with a measured pump combining efficiency of over 95% with a low brightness drop. The combiner also operates as a stepwise mode converter via a 30 μm intermediate core region in the combiner between the 20 μm core of the input fiber and the 40 μm fiber core of the PCF with a measured signal efficiency of 60% to 70% while maintaining polarization with a measured PER of 20 dB. These devices were integrated in to a monolithic fiber amplifier with high efficiency and near diffraction limited beam quality.
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Donald L. Sipes, Jason D. Tafoya, Daniel S. Schulz, Thomas Tanggaard Alkeskjold, Johannes Weirich, Christina B. Olausson, "High-power monolithic fiber amplifiers based on advanced photonic crystal fiber designs", Proc. SPIE 8961, Fiber Lasers XI: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 896114 (7 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2040345; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2040345
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